Gene Stone in Discussion about “The Trump Survival Guide”
Jamie Williams is president of The Wilderness Society. In this conversation with Gene Stone, they discuss the fears and needs of the American people, how the US citizens can act to ensure a bright future for the country and how to survive the next 4 years thanks to The Trump Survival Guide.
Jamie Williams (JW): Why was it important to get this book out quickly?
Gene Stone (GS): As you can guess, this book was written in less than two weeks and published a month later. Why the hurry? Because the presidency is the most important job in a democracy, and if you don’t feel that it’s being handled correctly, you need to do something about it immediately! Although it can sometimes seem slow, our government can also work very quickly when it comes to appointments and policy decisions. If you don’t like what you see, the sooner you move to do something about it, the better.
JW: What are the most important pieces of information found in this book?
GS: The book contains twelve chapters, each one centering on an important matter to voters — from civil rights to immigration, from the economy to women’s issues. Inside each chapter is a discussion of the issue, first in the form of a brief history lesson, then a summary of how President Obama addressed the issue, and next a prediction as to what Donald Trump realistically can and can’t do. The last section, and possibly the most important, is a resource guide, offering readers advice on what they can do to fight back.
JW: What do Americans have to fear most about a Donald Trump presidency?
GS: The dedication to this book says it all: to the American ideal that this country is governed by the majority but never at the expense of the minority. We are now a nation of many minorities, whether that means people of color, people born in other countries, or people who are LGBTQ. But today it also includes people who believe in environmental issues or people who believe in entitlements; in a way, each of these groups counts as an important minority. Your belief system helps classify who you are, and helps you identify which political issues matter to you. We have to make sure that the rights of all people are not trampled on by those who have power.
JW: What did you learn most from writing this book?
GS: I’ve always been a something of a history buff, but putting together the brief sections on the backgrounds of each issue was a terrific refresher course. Perhaps the biggest surprise concerns President Richard Nixon. Most people think of him as a conservative Republican, but Nixon often comes up in the book as a champion of what would now be called liberal causes. For instance, it was during his administration that the Environmental Protection Agency came into being, along with major environmental legislation. Nixon was also a staunch advocate of affordable health care for Americans in need, and he tried to pass an excellent plan. (Oddly, it was Senator Edward Kennedy who blocked the legislation, thinking he might be able to pass an even more comprehensive bill at a later date, but he was never able to do that.)
JW: How can Americans start protecting the social and political issues they care about?
GS: The book recommends a number of ways people can work for what they believe in. Each chapter lists specific recommendations for each topic. And at the end of each chapter is a reading list for those who want to learn more about the issue at hand. But most of all, as the conclusion says, perhaps the best way to make this country safe for all its citizens is for each one of us to be kind and supportive of anyone and everyone who is a part of our country.
While marches and social media are important forms of protest, concrete actions achieve real change. Positive and reinforcing, The Trump Survival Guide presents the essential information we need to effectively make our voices heard and our power felt.